When fifteen-year-old front man Joshua Turner took the stage for the first time, he never thought the experience would lead him to a career in music. It was the mid 2000’s when his high-school rock band the Argonauts arrived at the venue to put on their first show.  Their set list consisted of original music spanning the whole gamut of genres, from funk to soul, alternative to jazz, metal to punk, some Rage Against The Machine and Jet covers thrown in for good measure. Before that performance, Turner’s experience was limited to jamming in his friend’s basement after school and on weekends.

“The first time I got on stage, I was so nervous, but I lit the place up, and that’s when I knew I wanted to do this…”

Six years after that first performance, rock band front man Joshua Turner metamorphosed into hip-hop artist Dem Atlas. And that’s when his career hit the fast lane: He released his debut EP Charlie Brwn in 2013, signed to Rhymesayers Entertainment a year later, then hit the road with Atmosphere and quickly gained recognition throughout the country.

Over the years with Rhymesayers, Dem Atlas released singles, “Eps” and “Mixtapes,” but it wasn’t until the fall of 2018 when he released his first full-length solo album Bad Actress, produced by Ant of Atmosphere.


Despite the momentum, he realized that he missed the camaraderie of getting together with likeminded people and experimenting, so he now wants to get back to his roots of creating music with a band and touring.

“I miss going to a rehearsal and creating music that way, I think I’ll make my best music when I’m with a band again.”

Whichever direction he swerves musically, Dem Atlas is enjoying the ride.


Dem Atlas performs “Music Man,” featuring Lady Midnight, from his album Bad Actress.


Dem Atlas performs “Bad Loves Company” from his album Bad Actress.


Special Thanks:  Black Dog Cafe, Metro Transit, Minneapolis Parks and Recreation, Palace Theatre, Palmer’s BarWeisman Art Museum 
Additional Media: Rhymesayers Entertainment 
Production Team:  Joe Demko, Ezra Gold, Anne Guttridge, Slade Kemmet, Ryan Klabunde, Jim Kron, Matt Mead, Eric Pagel, Brennan Vance

This story is made possible by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and the citizens of Minnesota.